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Allium schoenoprasum (Chives)

Chives, Cive, Onion Grass, Allium buhseanum, Allium raddeanum, Allium oliganthum, Allium alpinum, Allium schmitzii var. duriminium, Allium purpurascens, Allium montanum, Allium gredense

Allium Schoenoprasum, Chives, Chives Plant, Chives Flower, Cive, Onion Grass, Aromatic Herb, Cooking Herb
Allium Schoenoprasum, Chives, Chives Plant, Chives Flower, Cive, Onion Grass, Aromatic Herb, Cooking Herb

Cultivated for its culinary uses and ornamental garden appeal, Allium schoenoprasum (Chives) is a small bulbous perennial forming a dense clump of thin, narrowly cylindrical, grass-like, dark green leaves. In late spring to early summer, attractive, pale lavender, rounded umbels are borne on erect stems atop the foliage. Both flowers and leaves are edible.

Fun Facts about Chives

  • Chives are a member of the onion family, along with garlic and onions.
  • They are native to Asia, Europe, and North America and have been cultivated for thousands of years for their culinary and medicinal uses.
  • The Latin name for chives is Allium schoenoprasum, which means “rush-like leek.”
  • Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow in pots or in the ground.
  • They are rich in vitamins A and C and minerals such as potassium, calcium, and iron.
  • Traditional medicine uses chives to treat digestive problems, high blood pressure, colds, and flu.
  • They are a popular addition to soups, salads, and sauces and can add flavor to various dishes.
  • They are also a favorite of bees and other pollinators and can help to attract beneficial insects to the garden.
  • Chives are a natural insect repellent and can deter pests such as aphids, snails, slugs, mosquitoes, and Japanese beetles.
  • Chives are a symbol of usefulness and practicality because they have a variety of culinary and medicinal uses.

What part of the Chives do you use?

The most commonly used part of chives in cooking is the long, slender green stems, which have a mild onion flavor. The white part of the stem, which is thicker and has a stronger onion flavor, is also edible but is typically used in smaller amounts or cooked longer to mellow out the flavor. The chive flowers are also edible and are great as a garnish or in salads, and they have a more intense onion flavor than the stems. The bulb of the chive plant is typically not used in cooking and is generally not consumed as it is small and not very flavorful.

What do you use Chives for?

Chives are a versatile herb that adds flavor and aroma to various dishes. Here are some common uses:

  • As a garnish: 0n baked potatoes, soups, and salads, adding a pop of color and a mild onion flavor.
  • In dips and spreads: such as sour cream, cream cheese, and hummus for extra flavor.
  • In sauces and dressings: they can add flavors, such as hollandaise sauce and vinaigrettes.
  • In omelets and scrambled eggs: they are a popular addition to omelets and scrambled eggs, providing a fresh and subtle onion flavor.
  • In stir-fries and noodle dishes: they add flavor and texture to stir-fries and noodle dishes.
  • In sandwiches: they are a flavorful addition to sandwiches, adding a mild onion flavor.
  • In herb butter: mixed with butter to make a delicious herb butter to top bread or vegetables.

Are Green Onions the same as Chives?

Green onions and chives are not the same but are related (they are onion family members) and look similar.

Green onions, also known as scallions, have a more pronounced onion flavor than chives and are p in various dishes, such as stir-fries, soups, and salads.

Chives have a milder onion flavor and are typically used as a garnish or to add subtle onion notes to dishes. Chives are also thinner and have a rounder stem than green onions, which have a more flattened stem.

How to Grow them?

  • They grow to 12-18 in. tall and wide (30-45 cm). Will self-seed if spent flower heads are not promptly deadheaded.
  • Easy to grow, Chives thrive in fertile, well-drained soils in full sun or light shade. They are drought-tolerant once established. Add grit to clay soils to improve drainage.
  • Chives are great additions to herb gardens, vegetable gardens, rock gardens, border fronts, or containers.
  • They attract bees and butterflies, but their strong smell turns away deer and rabbits.
  • Generally pest and disease free. Keep an eye out for onion white rot and downy mildew.
  • Cut back after flowering or merely remove dead flower heads.
  • Propagate by seed or division at any time.
  • Chives are much more productive if divided into clumps of at least ten small bulbs every 3 to 4 years.
  • Toxic to dogs, to cats, and to horses.

How to Harvest them?

  • Before harvesting, wait until the chives are at least six inches (15 cm) tall.
  • Cut them down to about two inches (5 cm) above the ground using scissors or garden shears.
  • You can cut the leaves individually or cut the entire clump of chives at once.
  • Be sure not to cut too much of the plant, which can damage it and affect its future growth.
  • Leave some chives growing so the plant can photosynthesize and produce new leaves.
  • After harvesting, rinse in cool water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Store the chives in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • It’s important to note that chives can be harvested throughout the growing season, but it’s best to avoid cutting the plants back too far, as this can weaken the plant and affect future growth.

Learn How To Plant, Grow and Harvest Chives


Easy to grow, Chives are rewarding little plants to grow outdoors in the garden or indoors in pots.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Herbs
Plant Family Amaryllidaceae
Genus Allium
Common names Chives, Onion
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Northeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon, Alabama, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming
Tolerance Drought, Deer
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Allium cepa Aggregatum Group (Shallot)
Allium cepa (Onion)
Allium sativum (Garlic)
Allium ‘Purple Rain’ (Ornamental Onion)
Allium ‘Pinball Wizard’ (Ornamental Onion)
Allium ‘Ostara’ (Ornamental Allium)

Recommended Companion Plants

Alchemilla mollis (Lady’s Mantle)
Allium cepa Aggregatum Group (Shallot)
Daucus carota subsp. sativus (Carrot)
Nepeta racemosa (Catmint)
Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris)
Papaver orientale (Oriental Poppy)

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, A1, A2, A3, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs, Herbs
Plant Family Amaryllidaceae
Genus Allium
Common names Chives, Onion
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy
Native Plants United States, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Southeast, Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Northeast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon, Alabama, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming
Tolerance Drought, Deer
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Explore Great Plant Combination Ideas
Allium
Guides with
Allium
Not sure which Allium to pick?
Compare Now

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